Everyone has a responsibility to help ensure the safety of children, and school buses are one of the safest ways to transport children to and from school. However, we must teach children how to get on and get off a school bus safely.
Unfortunately, children are sometimes injured or even killed when they ignore proper bus safety procedures — especially as they get on or off their school buses.
The area 10 feet in front of the bus, 10 feet on each side of the bus, and 10 feet behind the bus defines the area where children are at greatest risk of not being seen by the bus driver — resulting in Transportation officials calling this area, the “Danger Zone.”
Law enforcement and the South Carolina Department of Education emphasize this information.
Parents please do not approach the school bus for any reason. You should remain at least ten feet from the bus. The only exception? When a school bus driver asks you to approach the bus.
As part of these new safety procedures, drivers will no longer open the door or ask you to approach the driver’s window for conversation.
If you have an issue with a bus driver, please contact the supervisor of your child’s transportation office.
If, when the school bus driver approaches a bus stop, he/she believes there may be an issue/threat or that something just does not look right, the bus driver may bypass the bus stop and report the issue/threat immediately to their transportation office.
Whether you are a parent, guardian or motorist, please educate yourself and teach your children these transportation safety tips.
Child safety begins with the parents. Not only should young children be supervised at all times when around traffic, but parents should teach their children proper safety through example. Explain and show your children how to cross streets safely by stopping at the curb, checking left-right-left for traffic in all directions, and only crossing when traffic is clear. Be sure to praise your children when they follow these rules so they are encouraged to do so each time.
Other tips parents can take to ensure their child’s safety include:
Dress your children in bright, easily seen clothing and add reflective tape/markings to their bookbags and backpacks.
Make sure your children have bookbags or backpacks that can carry all their items. This helps prevent any danger caused when they stop to pick up dropped items.
Ensure your child is at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus arrives. This makes sure they are not running to catch the bus and reduces their chances of falling in front of the bus.
A bus driver needs to keep his/her attention on the road. Please teach your child to behave properly while riding the bus so the driver does not become distracted.
Children face a wide variety of dangers on their way to and from school, whether they walk, bike, or ride the bus. Teaching children the safety steps below will help them travel safely.
Children should always walk with a parent, guardian, or friend. They should never walk alone.
Children should use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic so you can see any cars coming.
Children should always cross at an intersection or crosswalk and obey traffic signals at intersections with traffic lights.
While riding a bike, children should always wear a helmet and follow traffic safety rules. Children should let cars and pedestrians go by first and then walk their bikes through intersections.
When waiting on the bus, children should get to the stop at least five minutes early and stand 10 steps away from the curb.
Children should wait for the bus to come to a complete stop, the doors to open, and the driver to give them the OK before trying to step onto the bus.
Children should always walk at least 10 steps away from the bus and never walk behind the bus.
While on the bus, children should stay fully seated at all times and facing forward. They should never stand while the bus is moving.
Children should obey the driver at all times and follow all bus rules.
Children should speak quietly and not throw things as this can distract the bus driver.
Drivers should take extra precautions when driving through school zones or in areas where school buses are present. Young children often have a hard time seeing motorists, so it is the responsibility of the driver to be on alert.
Children have difficulty judging the speed and distance of cars and may think they have enough time to cross the street when they actually do not. Because of this, motorists should drive slowly around areas where children are present, such as playgrounds and schools, and be ready for a child to dart in front of them at any time.
Please remember to follow these driving laws at all times.
When turning left at a green light or turning right on red, look for pedestrians as well as cars. Pedestrians always have the right of way in these situations.
Avoid using a cell telephone in and around school zones. Texting and talking can affect your ability to react quickly.
As you approach a school zone, slow down and prepare to stop. Speeding through school zones can result in a hefty fine.
When a school bus is stopped with the red lights flashing, stop at least 20 feet from the bus in either direction.